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Winning Corn Maze Being Carved in Kohala

October 2, 2013, 1:50 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 7:00 PM
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A 6.5-acre corn maze featuring the prize-winning design of student Sofia Peterson will be featured at the Kohala Mountain Farm starting Saturday, Oct. 5.

The Kohala Mountain Farm in partnership with Crop Production Services, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, and Hawaii Forest & Trail, opened the corn-maze design contest to all Hawaii Island high schools that participate in the Hawaii Island School Garden Network program.

Peterson, an eighth grader at Kanu O Ka Aina Public Charter School in Waimea, was named the grand-prize winner from more than 100 entries and receives a $1,000 gift certificate for her school’s garden program and a helicopter ride for two to view the design from the air.

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Last year’s winning corn maze design was submitted by Kohala’s Danny Higa. Photo courtesy Kohala Mountain Farm.

Peterson’s winning design depicts an elaborate farm scene with a large tractor, barn, corn stalks, pumpkins, sun pattern, and a pu’u depicting the large hill adjacent to the farm.

“The field this year is 20% larger than last year,” said Stacy Hasegawa, project coordinator. “We are really pleased with this year’s design because it is going to be larger and a lot more challenging for our visitors to navigate.”

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Besides the maze and pumpkins, there are hay rides, a petting zoo, juggling and educational displays.

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Recent declines in the local bee population almost resulted in the demise of the Pumpkin Patch, Hasegawa said. Kohala Mountain Farm was able to continue however by implementing an extensive cover crop beekeeping program.

“After losing 80% of our pumpkin crop due to lack of pollination caused by the decline of our bee population, we purchased five bee hives and planted pollen rich plants to support our bees,” Hasegawa said.

“The crop loss was unfortunate, (but) it initiated an incredible awareness campaign that helped educate the community about the state of our pollinators here on the island,” she said.

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“This year, the farm is able to offer thousands of pumpkins that are grown at the farm, … including cooking pumpkins.”

The Farm is also offering $2 off maze admission with each food pantry donation. “Last year we donated 2,600 pounds to the North Kohala Food Basket just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Hasegawa.

The Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekend, and noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, through October. Go to www.kohalamountainfarm.com.

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